Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dangers of the Digital Age

As anyone reading this blog more than once could probably figure out, I'm a big supporter of digital formats being a way to bring the written word to the world quickly, cheaply and efficiently. There's a lot of strengths to the format and I've talked about them frequently. But, while every format has its strengths, it also has its weaknesses. One of the weaknesses, I'm afraid, is that there's no physical copy... who knew?

Now, of course, I knew this from the beginning and there's a lot of people who trumpet that in the first place as a reason why eBooks are bad. Though, I have to say, while it may be a weakness in some regards, it is a strength in others. For instance, you cannot burn an eBook, or the library they're in. Though, I have seen someone burn digital books as a form of protest once, so maybe that's incorrect. And sometimes, the "libraries" can actually burn themselves down.

But this isn't about reading eBooks so much as writing them. You see, you cannot produce an eBook manuscript on a typewriter. And, that whole fire image and the computer burning itself down? That kind of happened to me this past weekend. Not to say that it actually set itself on fire, but suddenly a portion of it decided it would actually, literally, burn out. At around 1 am last Thursday, or the crack of "second wind" as I like to call it, my power supply decided that it just did not want to function anymore and died.

Now, like anyone that's ever worked with a computer instead of a typewriter, I save religiously. But I never actually imagined my computer would decide to teach me the smell of burnt capacitor. Though I will now always know that smell - it wasn't exactly the lesson I took away from the situation. And what lesson did I take away from it? Always have backups!

Not just backups of the files but backups for the hardware too. If you're a writer and you've got a large project you're working on, make sure that, in the case your computer decides to show you it's paperweight impression, you have another computer of some sort to go to. A week without your word processor is that sad little week where you get to sit around and realize that you're trying to make a living off of writing elaborate bullshit for other people that effectively ceases to exist the minute the copies disappear.

Now imagine they downloaded your book a thousand times on iBooks before doing this. Enjoy the drinking problem!

Help me avoid my drinking problem and show your support by helping me pay for the power supply I had to install to replace Nibbles up there, Buy my books!

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